Friday, March 13, 2015

Montauk Pictures

I think you all know that Montauk is over 100 miles from Manhattan, at the tip of Long Island's east end on the south fork.  Those 100+ miles might as well be the difference between planets, so diverse is the landscape.  Though Huntington is a beautiful town on Long Island's north shore, about 90 minutes from Montauk as the crow flies, it pales in comparison to this scenic, rustic and seemingly out of the way bastion of old world Long Island.

Unfortunately, signs of the Hamptons are slowly creeping into Montauk.  Even off season, the restaurants (those that remain open year round) were expensive as were several of the novelty shops I visited.  The saving grace is that Montauk is still not densely populated so that stretches of pine trees and beach are still visible from the road.

On the way to the hotel, this snowy vista greeted me, begging for a picture through the car's windshield.  Can you believe how blue the sky is?  It was like that the whole time I was there, from Friday through Monday afternoon.

You can tell how much snow there was, including this mound that blocked the view of the ocean from this scenic overlook.

The hotel is a gorgeous, hilltop old Tudor mansion that boasts 1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites, 2 pools, a spa, restaurant, fitness center and spaces with fireplaces and cozy reading nooks.  Views of the sunset from the bay facing rooms are astounding!  Again, the sky almost seems painted into the photo.

In case you think I was exaggerating about the sunset view from the suite, look at this one.  It was as if each evening's sunset tried to outdo the previous one!

I set the alarm for 6 am Sunday morning to catch what I've been told are legendary sunrises in this part of the world.  Thanks to the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, I had a little more than an hour to get dressed, put together ingredients for mimosas and make the 15 minute drive to the Montauk Point Lighthouse.  I took about 12 pictures of the sun rising, but only posted 4 so as not to bore you.  Note how the cloud formation is different in every photo until they're completely gone in the last pic.

While the sun was rising and I was toasting the new day with a delicious mimosa, Beethoven's 9th Symphony was playing on the radio.  Can you think of any better way to begin a day in paradise?  The sunrise is not unlike the ones us lucky boaters enjoy from our cockpits, right?

There is something fascinating about a beach covered in snow.  I have been mesmerized by the sight since I was a child.  Not quite sure what the appeal is, but I love it!

The icing on the cake came on Sunday when it finally warmed up enough to put the top down!  It was in the balmy mid-40s, so a scarf, a bit of heat, windows up, windscreen up and I'm good to go - and go I did!!

 This was a memory-making weekend, much needed and appreciated after a nasty winter.  Since I still must work to support my marine lifestyle, I had to do something nice locally that would be a mini-vacation yet be far enough from home to make it seem like a destination.

The exciting news is that I have plane tickets booked for mid-April to Norfolk, VA.  That is where I am boarding Olympia so that I can be at the helm for the final leg of her trip home.  I may have to work with the airline if the boat is either early or delayed, but Southwest (which has become my West Palm Beach-New York shuttle) is very good about changing travel dates.  For those of you who have been following my dream unfold, you will recognize this leg as the culmination of the dream - sailing under the Verrazano Bridge and past the Statue of Liberty at the helm of my very own boat.  In the old scenario, Tom would have been at the helm and I would have been happy to stand beside him.  Now I will be at the helm and Tom will be standing beside me - as he is every day of my life.

Stay tuned for christening pictures.  I sent my cousin a gentle reminder yesterday that we are all waiting to see his pictures.  I felt brave blaming all of you.

Be back soon!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I'm Still Here!

Sorry everyone!  I've been waiting for some very special pictures from Olympia's christening on January 31st.  The photographer is my cousin, a busy neuro radiologist in Sarasota, so I can't rush him too much.

I took a long weekend to visit Montauk this past weekend.  It was a winter wonderland following what we all hope was the last snowfall of 2015.

I'll post some gorgeous photos (including an awesome sunrise and sunset) of that trip  to keep you interested until I get the christening pictures.

While we're on the subject of trips, I'll be flying to Norfolk, VA on April 14th to meet Olympia and take the helm for the final leg of her journey home!  Just thinking about this adventure gives me goose bumps.  This trip has been in my mind's eye for no less than two whole years!

 The marina in Huntington advises me that her slip is ready - they also confessed that since she'll be one of the "widest" girls at the marina, they are going to check the width of her slip just once more.  Just to be sure, I'm going to pop over there this weekend to see for myself.  Getting stuck between pilings is not the way I want Olympia to make her grand entrance!  

There will be an interesting crew of 4 aboard as she leaves Stuart, including my hero captain Mike Warren.  I got a glimpse of their provisioning list - those guys are going to feast their way north, that's for sure.  I'd have it no other way, they deserve nothing but the best there is.  Mike is planning an outside trip to Beaufort, SC if the weather cooperates which he estimates will take 60 hours offshore.

I'm in the process of learning yet another new skill - negotiating with an outfit in Stuart to rent a life raft.  Did you know that since the life raft contains flares, it is considered haz mat and subject to specific regulations about its transportation to and from the boat?  That translates to the need for a special ground trucking service from NY back to FL (which translates further into $$$$).  Does anything marine-related not cost a fortune?  However, after applying my analytical skills (smile) to this process, I determined that it is still less expensive to rent, rather than purchase, a life raft.  Once I start cruising (oh please let it be soon!), I can look into purchasing the raft - and will be happy to do just that!

I'll try to get the Montauk pictures posted tonight if I get home from work and the barn at a civilized hour.  I feel as if I've let everyone down by my disappearing act and owe you all - big time.

I'll be back soon - promise!